Political Law

Anita Lorenzana vs Polly Cayetano

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G.R. No. L-37051 – 78 SCRA 485 – Political Law – Due Process – Hearing

Lorenzana was renting a parcel of land from the Manila Railroad Company (later from the Bureau of Lands). She later purchased the land (San Lazaro Estate). She had the property be rented to tenants occupying stalls. Due to nonpayment of rents, she filed 12 ejectment cases against her tenant. On the other hand, Cayetano was an occupant of a parcel of land adjacent to that of Lorenzana’s land. Cayetano was renting the same from the Bureau of Lands. The lower court granted Lorenzana’s ejectment cases. Lorenzana then secured a writ of execution to forcibly eject her tenants but she included Cayetano’s property. Cayetano was not a party to the ejectment cases so she prayed for the lower court that her property be not touched. The lower court denied Cayetano’s petition. The CA, upon appeal, favored Cayetano. Lorenzana averred that Cayetano is now a party to the ejectment cases as she already brought herself to the Court’s jurisdiction by virtue of her appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not Cayetano’s right to due process has been violated.

HELD: The SC ruled in favor of Cayetano and has affirmed the CA. It must be noted that respondent was not a party to any of the 12 ejectment cases wherein the writs of demolition had been issued; she did not make her appearance in and during the pendency of these ejectment cases. Cayetano only went to court to protect her property from demolition after the judgment in the ejectment cases had become final and executory. Hence, with respect to the judgment in said ejectment cases, Cayetano remains a third person to such judgment, which does not bind her;  nor can its writ of execution be informed against her since she was not afforded her day in court in said ejectment cases.


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